On Feb. 20, Sony officially announced the successor to the PlayStation 3 gaming console. It gave a first glimpse into many of the PS4’s features, but the console itself was nowhere in sight. Although the price tag is still being kept under wraps, Sony has announced that its pushing for a holiday 2013 release.
Of the new system’s features, some of the biggest buzz is being generated by the PlayStation 4 Eye, which is the latest of Sony’s motion sensitive devices. The eye senses the location of the controller, and will even help players log in by recognizing their faces. It works by using two wide-angle cameras that can recognize the depth of an object, and four microphones that will connect to a built-in light bar on the controller. These features will supposedly make motion-sensitive games much easier to control.
Another big reveal that Sony made was the new controller itself. The general layout of the Dualshock 4 controller seems relatively unchanged, but a few bells and whistles have been added on, the most obvious of which is the new touch pad in the middle of the controller. In an official press release, Sony describes this touch pad as offering “completely new ways to play and interact with games.” The aforementioned light bar on the controller will work with the player to provide useful information during games, such as how much health the player has remaining. There is also a headphone jack built right into the controller itself, which will make gaming with headphones much easier for those unwilling to invest in a pricy wireless headset.
Another new feature is the “share” button, specifically for sharing content with your friends. Sony will be focusing heavily on social media for this release, partnering with organizations such as Facebook and UStream to bring gamers what they call “enhanced social capabilities.” The share button will give players the ability to instantly share livestreams of their gameplay with friends online, and update their favorite social media sites with their progress.
Sony also took the opportunity to put a few worrying rumors to bed. The PlayStation 4 won’t block used games, nor will it require a constant Internet connection to function. Also, the system will still be using discs, at least for the foreseeable future. However, like its precursor, the PlayStation 4 will not support games from previous systems.
Gamers have expressed interest in the lineup of games for the PlayStation 4. So far only a handful of titles are confirmed. Among those in the initial round of contenders are Driveclub, a racing title; Watchdogs, an open world action-adventure game from Ubisoft; a new Final Fantasy title from Square Enix; Knack, a new platformer in the tradition of the Crash Bandicoot series; and Diablo 3, which was also confirmed for the PlayStation 3. The most talked about release comes from Bungie, the creators of the successful Halo franchise. The name of their newest project is Destiny, the studio’s first major project since finishing work on Halo, and it was unveiled the same day as the PS4 video demo.
Gamers around the world are watching Sony with interest to see what new features are unveiled next. More details will be made public in time, and the appearance will likely be revealed at E3 this June.